Letters to the editor

Dear Fellow Texans: This Veterans Day, please join me in thanking all who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. Throughout our nation’s history, many brave men and women have answered the call to defend our nation. I am grateful for each and every American who has stepped up to serve, and today I am reminded of the many Texas veterans who have donned our nation’s uniform. First and foremost, today I think of my late father. My dad, then-Second Lieutenant T.J. Cornyn, flew 26 missions as a member of the Jack Rose Crew in the 303rd bomber group –the Hell’s Angels—and spent four months in a Nazi POW camp. He went on to serve three decades in the U.S. Air Force. My dad instilled in me a great respect for our servicemen and women and the sacrifices they have made to make this country the best place in the world to live, work, and raise a family. Texas has been home to so many extraordinary veterans. Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz, who hails from Fredericksburg, Texas, was instrumental in leading the Pacific fleet in World War II. Richard Overton of Austin, Texas, served in the South Pacific during World War II, and at 112 years old, he is our nation’s oldest living veteran. America’s deadliest Sniper, Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, lived in North Texas until his tragic death. Marcus Luttrell, the lone survivor of the most fatal day in Navy SEAL history, grew up in Houston and lives today in Southeast Texas. More than one in 12 veterans have chosen to live in Texas, no doubt thanks in part to our state’s welcoming and patriotic nature. It is said that “Texas Defends America,” and when I reflect on the long, decorated list of veterans that have called our state home, I believe it to be true. We owe these men and women a great deal of appreciation and support – today and every day. So to all veterans in Texas, thank you. We are grateful for your service, daily sacrifice, and dedication to this nation. May God bless each veteran and their family, and may God continue to bless Texas and the United States of America. Sincerely,

John Cornyn U.S. Senator for Texas

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Dear editor,

E Pluribus Unum

November 6th was the next step on the road back. The 2016 presidential election was the first. Celebrate a return to oversight of the Executive Branch wherein the GOP House of Representatives demurred. Look for Democrats to protect the Mueller investigation and subpoena the president’s tax records as may provide federal evidence of Trump business and family corruption also under examination by state AGs. An important “first” is 100 women of both parties were elected to the House. This has profound implications for institutional perspectives and policies. Nationwide, seven GOP governors were defeated. Significant Dem gains occurred in state legislatures. It took much effort and dedication including those never before involved in politics. For many women, it was about the Access Hollywood comments and the president’s unconcealed sexism. Overcome were egregious instances of GOP gerrymandering and voter suppression. For example, it denied thousands of North Dakotan Native Americans the ability to vote, arbitrarily jettisoned several thousand Dem voter registrations in Georgia and strategically moved the only polling place for Dodge City’s majority Hispanic 13,000 population a mile outside of town! A Democratic victory isn’t a panacea. A good start however, contemplates access to healthcare for millions, a living wage, meaningful ethics and campaign finance reform including reversing “Citizens United”, protecting voting rights and enacting and/ or restoring reasonable gun safety, environmental and financial regulatory measures. Public servants require constant vigilance. Calls, letters, visits and attending Town Halls communicate: “Your employers are paying attention!” To every one of conscience and integrity — thank you. Some practical advice: “Keep engaged!” Change involves faith AND works! The rest follows. The Great Seal of the United States contains these words: E Pluribus Unum (Out of Many, One!). Tuesday’s elections confirmed that!

Rev. Barry Abraham Zavah Alpine